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Supporting employees with long term health conditions

Advice and guidance for employers in supporting employees with long term health conditions returning to and continuing in work

​If an employee has a long term condition, then vocational (work) rehabilitation can help them return to and remain in work. This also benefits the organisation in retaining a productive member of their team.

The workplace is a suitable environment to support employees and provide interventions that allow them to come to work or continue at work. Other agencies can provide appropriate healthcare or treatment, which the employer can also access and use for support.

  1. Supporting a return to work
  2. Risk assessment and health conditions
  3. Next steps
  4. Legislation impacting on long term health conditions

​4. Legislation impacting on long term health conditions

Some health conditions will automatically meet the disability definition under the Equality Act 2010 from the day of diagnosis such as cancer.

Other long term health conditions such as, diabetes and epilepsy, are likely to meet the disability definition under the act as these are long term conditions which require lifelong treatment and will have significant impact on day to day activities. However it is a legal decision not a medical decision to determine whether or not an individual is covered under the Equality Act 2010.

Many health conditions will require temporary or some times longer term, regular hospital or specialist appointments for treatment. This authorised absence, out with the normal organisations sickness absence triggers, should be considered as an appropriate adjustment under the Equality Act 2010. This could be identified within your Supporting Staff Attendance Policy. If you feel your policy doesn't include this then you can get support on what it should include by using our attendance policy pages.

It is important to address the Equality Act when supporting staff to return too, or remain in work.

As an employer you should understand your legal responsibilities in this and others areas, including

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Employment Rights Acts.

If you have questions or require extra support, message us or call our advice line on 0800 019 2211.